Appointment of James Barber as the New Dean of the Faculty of Social Work

PDAD&C #51, 2001-2002


TO:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
Students, Staff, Faculty and Alumni of the Faculty of Social Work
FROM:   Adel Sedra, Vice-President and Provost
DATE:   April 11, 2002
RE:   Appointment of James Barber as the New Dean of the Faculty of Social Work
cc:   The Bulletin

I am very pleased to announce that the Academic Board has approved the appointment of Professor James Barber as Dean of the Faculty of Social Work for a six and a half year term, from January 1, 2003 until June 30, 2009.

Professor Barber received his doctorate from the University of Adelaide in 1986, and has since held academic positions at James Cook University, La Trobe University, the University of Tasmania and Flinders University. He is a highly accomplished scholar in social work who also has extensive experience in university administration. His most recent administrative appointments include Head of Social Administration and Social Work, Associate Head (Research) of Social Sciences, and currently, Director of the Institute for Research in Society and Culture at Flinders University.

Dr. Barber's research interests include alcohol and drug addiction, child welfare and foster care. Among his projects in drug and alcohol misuse have been the development of a social modeling program for the prevention of alcohol use by Aboriginal children living on Palm Island and the development and piloting of a heroin relapse prevention program for prisoners in Melbourne's notorious Pentridge Prison. Dr. Barber remains the only social worker at La Trobe University to ever be promoted to the rank of Reader, which in the Australian university system is restricted to scholars whose research work is judged to be of outstanding international significance. The international impact of Dr. Barber's scholarship is further reflected in his receipt of a Leverhulme Visiting Fellowship from the U.K. Government. Dr. Barber is held in high esteem not only for his research but also for his teaching. In 2002, he received the Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Flinders University's highest recognition of excellence in teaching.

Professor Barber is also respected by members of the profession for his leadership. He has served terms as National Vice-President of the Australian Association of Social Workers and as Chair of the Australian Heads of Social Work Schools. Recently, in collaboration with South Australia's largest non-government provider of welfare services, Dr. Barber established, and is currently Director of, the Australian Centre for Community Services Research.

I am confident that Professor Barber, as Dean of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Social Work, will continue to demonstrate his commitment to academic and administrative excellence, and will ensure that the Faculty is firmly established as a prominent centre of research and innovative professional education.